CITIZENSHIP (AMENDMENT) BILL
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill: The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016 and passed during the winter session of the Lower House on January 8, 2019.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has reiterated that the government would first amend the existing citizenship norms by passing the Citizenship Amendment Bill before it implements a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016:
- The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016. It was passed during the winter session of the Lower House on January 8, 2019, but it lapsed as it was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha, which adjourned sine die on February 13.
- The Bill sought to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955, which lays down the norms regarding Indian citizenship.
- It sought to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.
- Further, it relaxes one of the requirements for acquiring citizenship by natutralisation under the existing Act for persons belonging to the same six religions and three countries by only requiring them to have stayed in India for 6 (instead of 11) of the previous 14 years.
- sThe essential point of debate in this proposed amendment was that it makes illegal migrants eligible for citizenship on the basis of religion a move that may violate Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees right to equality.
National Register of Citizens (NRC)?
- Till date, Assam is the only state that has implemented the National Register of Citizens.
- The NRC defines all illegal immigrants, irrespective of religion, on the basis of a cutoff date in Assam this was set to be March 24, 1971.
- As such, to claim citizenship, individuals had to prove that either they or their ancestors were Indian citizens before March 1971. At the end of the exercise in which 3.11 crore people applied for citizenship verification, 19 lakh were excluded.
Image Credits: https://images.indianexpress.com/2019/10/nrc-759.jpg?w=759&h=422&imflag=true
Source: Live Mint
Also Read Representation of The People Act, 1951